Fearless Friday

Friday, October 29, 2010
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I'm joining Angela over at Free Spirit Haven for another Fearless Friday.  Do you have prayer requests?  You can leave me a comment here or you can email me.  I will be praying for you.

My prayer request this week are for standers around the globe.  May God grant us peace, strength and grace as we stand and wait for God's promises to come to pass in our lives. 

I've met another stander when I attended a Bible study group last week.  Her story is somewhat similar to mine.  She was so happy to know that she wasn't alone in this world standing for a covenant marriage like hers.  So many standers around the globe are in pain because of their hurting, dying or already dead marriages.  But remember that we serve a God who is able and willing to restore hurting and even dead covenant marriages.  

Please pray with me. 


Thankful Thursday

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just got home and it's 11 p.m. My friend Babette said she had to join TT this week, she just had to she said.  I thought to myself  that I will just have to pass... again, take a quick shower, say my prayers and hit the sack.  Well, thank God that remained only in my thoughts. 

Lynn asked us to share a scripture verse that God is using in our lives to craft our character or one that has exposed a lie, a verse that brought us peace or comfort or a passage that has inspired us to draw closer to Jesus.  Here's mine.  This gave me peace and assurance that what God has promised, He will certainly do because...
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"  Numbers 23:19
Lord, thank you that you are forever faithful and true. 


What are you thankful for this week?

For more Thankful Thursday, visit Lynn over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.



A Promised Suddenly

Monday, October 25, 2010
Wow, how time flies.  I was busy trying to finish uploading some photos since last week and it seemed endless.  Part of the reason was that my internet connection was acting up again.  Well, now it's done! Whew.  That's one work out of the way.  Next is I have to finish some cut outs that will be used at Kid's Church sometime next month.  Gotta move fast, it's almost November.

Anyhow, I would like to share once again something from Charlyne Cares Devotional written by a fellow stander, Terri from Minnesota.  I'm sure everyone will be able to relate to this as I did.

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"'Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,' says the LORD of Heaven's Armies." Malachi 3:1 (NLT)
Many of us have been fasting and praying for our marriages to be restored, waiting for God's "suddenly" to take place in the form of answered prayer. The word suddenly, by definition, means coming or happening quickly, in an instant, without warning. In other words, when you least expect it.

Living in a world of instant gratification, our definition of "suddenly" might be closer to "right now!" We pray and expect God's answer - NOW. Praise God, sometimes the answers do come that quickly...I believe He does that so we don't lose faith. Other times, the "suddenly" seems to happen about as quickly as the fulfillment of the promise in the verse above, which - by the way - took 400 years or so!

Make no mistake. From the moment we utter a prayer, our loving Father hears and responds. What we don't always understand are the things taking place in the spiritual realm in response to our prayers. As we intercede for our spouses, children and other loved ones, God is moving on the other side of the mountain working to accomplish His perfect will in the lives of the ones we're praying for. Looking at our side of the mountain (circumstances, etc), it appears as though nothing is happening, or maybe even as if things have gone from bad to worse as we watch those we're praying for fall deeper into sin, further into debt, more sickly...

Remember in Daniel 10:12-14 how Daniel's answer was delayed for 21 days by the enemy? Our enemy does the same to us. He wants to derail us, discourage us and bring us into despair so that we will give up and quit. If we could only see through God's eyes we would see that God is allowing things to happen in the lives of the ones we're praying for so they will become sick and tired of living in the pit and will finally come to their senses, repent and turn to God seeking His forgiveness.

That's when the "suddenly" happens. When we least expect it. When it seems like there's no way for our prayer to be answered. When the one we're praying for seems more lost than ever. Suddenly, God moves. Suddenly their heart is softened and ready to receive. Suddenly the scales fall off their eyes. Suddenly their ears are opened. And suddenly we realize that God has been working all along.

We must persist in prayer for our loved ones. Luke 18: 1-8 is the story of the persistent widow. I love the story. This woman simply refuses to give up. And Jesus says, in verses 7-8:
"...So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly (suddenly)! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?" Luke 18:7-8
Don't despair. Don't become discouraged. Don't buy into the enemy's lie by believing that your circumstances are your reality. Wait for your promised suddenly!




Take a Risk for God

Monday, October 18, 2010
Hi everyone!

As I was going through my daily readings,  I was very much inspired by this devotional found in Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc. I can relate to what the writer is going through and the things said to him by well-meaning people. I'm re-posting it especially for all those "standers" out there fighting for their marriages through prayer. This was from Ben of Texas.

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"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Matthew 19:4-6
Each of us are in a unique position. We see our marriages crumbling right before our eyes and our family units splitting up in such ungodly ways. Our situation, while unique to us, is commonplace today, a fact of life. Families and marriages are breaking up so frequently that it is hard to find a family that has not been touched by divorce. In the tidal wave that follows broken marriages, there are shattered lives and broken promises (broken covenant). Who is at fault? Whom are we to blame? Look in the mirror. The truth hurts but it must be reckoned with. Acknowledge your sin and your part in the breakdown of your marriage. Seek God's counsel, love, and grace and you are starting on the road toward marriage reconciliation. Stand for your marriage. Take a risk for God.

Standing (with God) for one's marriage is a difficult road to walk. Family, friends, your associates at work, the world and even your own church leaders don't understand this walk. It can be lonely if we don't take Jesus with us. Yet for the few of us who have been called by God to walk with Him in this stand, it is a blessing. Yes, a blessing, for each of us have been hand picked by our Creator to suffer for Him as we witness to the world about the truth and the value of the marriage covenant. I am fortunate to belong to a marriage reconciliation support group through my church. Such groups are few and far between.

Only yesterday, I drove by a large "modern-looking" church that had a big sign out front stating "Divorce Care" yet nothing about marriage care. In the support group I attend, we acknowledge that each of us are not there by accident but by Divine Appointment. Take a risk for God. Stand for your marriage.

I cannot even begin to count the number of times well-meaning people have suggested that I "should get on (move on) with my life." Sound familiar? In response, I proudly state that I am moving on with my life by standing with God as He heals my marriage. At times, this takes people back; they are lost for words. You see, I am taking a risk for God.

When we witness to the world (including our church leaders and fellow Christians) about the sanctity of marriage and our covenant marriage vows, we are taking a risk for God. God recognizes that life at times is difficult, yet perseverance in our walk brings great rewards. It was through the turmoil of the breakdown of my marriage that I found my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Frequently I tell people that I am thankful that God led me down this path of the breakdown of my marriage and the subsequent divorce for now I know where I am going to spend Eternity. I took a risk for God.

Yes, I am standing with God as He heals me and yes, heals my wife. My marriage failed because God was placed on a side track; He was not on the main track of my marriage. But even here, God must be the engine that pulls the Christian family along the track of life. God is in control of the universe and He wants to be in control of your life and mine. Take a risk for God.

Notice that I said take a risk "for" God, not "with" God. While God is with you as you stand, when you take a risk "for" God, you are in the front row of the battle against Satan.




Thankful Thursday

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today is a special day. And I'd like to share with y'all the message I got from my devotional readings this morning.  It has encouraged me and I hope you will be too.
Dear Soul, you may have to experience the very worst before you are delivered, but you will be delivered!  God may keep you waiting, but He will always remember His promise and will appear in time to fulfill His sacred Word that cannot be broken.

It is always safe to trust God's methods and to live by His clock.

Difficulty is actually the atmosphere surrounding a miracle, or a miracle in its initial stage.  Yet if it is to be a great miracle, the surrounding condition will be not simply a difficulty but an utter impossibility.  And it is the clinging hand of Hi child that makes a desperate situation a delight to God.

Lord, thank you for adding another year in my life.  I have gone from worst to so much better physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually.  You have always been there for me.  Thank you, Lord, for preparing me to go from so much better to blissful --- walking in my "promised land." As I celebrate my birthday today, I'm looking forward to more exciting surprises you have in stored for me.  I love you, Lord!


What are you thankful for this week?

For more Thankful Thursday, visit Lynn over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage




White Water Rafting Adventure-Day 2

Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Breakfast at 6:30 a.m. We got our stuff in the jeepney for a two and a half ride to Pasil, Kalinga, our put-in point (river access where a trip begins).



We made a stop over to stretch a bit.

 

We geared up and some safety briefing by Argel took place along with the inflating of the rubber boats and organizing other river equipment by the river crews before heading off to the water.

 

We had two rubber boats.  I was on the second boat.  Two trained professional river guides headed the rafting team. On the first boat was Argel and on our boat was Anton Carag.  Then half way along we changed boats. Argel now with us and Anton on the other boat.
  
Here's the first boat.  Forward paddle!  Back paddle!  Haha!
Here's our boat.  Woohoo! Left back!  Right back!

After four hours on the rubber boat, paddling, we made a stop over at a waterfall where we drank fresh water and rested. 


Towards the end of our white water rafting adventure, some of us jumped off the boat to enjoy the water.  It was so hot and the cold water felt so good on the skin.  Whew!

See that thing in the water floating at the back?  That's me! Haha! In front of me was May. The water was I think more than 10 feet deep here.  I couldn't care less.

Argel pulled me up from the water and got me in the boat again when the rapids were nearing.  The truth is I could have stayed in the water but I chickened out.

On the take-out (river access where a trip ends), we had our last photo shoot before heading back to Casa Carag.  What a fun day it was!
 

We were all tired.  Very tired!  But happy...


Until my mood suddenly changed.  A thought just came to my mind, plus I wasn't feeling okay physically, that made me want to burst in tears.  But no, I didn't cry.  The photos just captured it.  It was written all over my face.

 
 

Back at Casa Carag, I took a quick shower.  Prayed and asked God to help me overcome the weird emotion I was having.  God did give me a word and a vivid vision that went along with it.  The enemy was quick to steal my joy, but God was faster to counter the enemy.  Thank God!

The following day, woke up at 6 a.m. for another yummy breakfast, packed our bags and off to the airport to catch the flight back to Manila.  




Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful experience.  Looking forward to our next adventure.


Kayaking Adventure-Day 1

Sunday, October 10, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010, Manila Airport
From L to R: May, Shirleen, Darwin, me, Anton, Cymbee & Christine
Tuguegarao Airport
We arrived at Tuguegarao at around 9:20 a.m via Air Philippines. We were fetched at the airport by Anton Carag, our notable host, and went straight to Casa Carag for a sumptuous breakfast.

Breakfast at Casa Carag
From L to R: Me, Darwin, Anton Carag, Shirleen, Anton, May & Cymbee

It was my first time in Tuguegarao and one thing I noticed, the sun seem to shine the hardest on this part of the Philippines.  Can't live without my sunscreen!
Jeepney ride to PeƱablanca
We unpacked and changed to our swimwear, ready for our kayak adventure. We rode a private jeepney for a 30 minute trip to PeƱablanca.  We had kayaking basics by Argel Gerale at the Pinacanauan (meaning "left-most") River, a tributary of the great Cagayan River in Cagayan Valley.

Before boarding a motor boat to Pinacanauan River
On our way to Pinacanauan River
With May
...And Cymbee
Among us, there were three who were first timers --- Cymbee, Shirleen and me.  The water was really deep and we were terrified at first. And although we were wearing life jackets, I can't seem to trust the jacket to make me stay afloat.  Well... it took me only about 5 minutes though to get used to the water. After which, I was already having a great time.
Love the water!
Argel teaching us the basics of kayaking
Learning what to do when I fall off the kayak.
Not easy!
After the kayaking basics, we had barbecue lunch by the river.


By the way, I had to re-apply sunscreen every time I had the chance to and this time was one of them.  Ha!

We rode a motorized banca (boat) upstream, warm up a little to get ready to run our own kayaks down river to Callao.  

Ready!!!
Our kayaking adventure began.

Practicing...
Here I go...
Taking a break...
Argel showed us a baby crab.
Getting ready again...
Made it to the finish line.  Yey!
I was removing sand from my aqua shoes... hehe.
After over three hours of kayaking, we packed our stuff, rode the motorized banca once again to watch the circadian flight of bats.

See that hole on the right? That's where the bats were.

We waited till about 6 p.m. and there they were, millions of bats (yes, millions) coming out the cave. 15 minutes non stop! Stinky smell of bat droppings (guano) was all over the place.

See those trails?  Those were bats.
After about 20 minutes, we headed back to Casa Carag.  We were all tired and I can't wait to take a shower.



My muscles felt sore from hours of paddling.  Had a massage after a late dinner and headed off to slumberland.  Zzz...

White Water Rafting Adventure-Day 2


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